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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 34, August 14 — 20
Romans 7–16 — “Overcome Evil with Good”

Romans 7-8 Old versus New

In Ether 12:11 we read, “Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way.” It is clear throughout Paul’s epistles that the transition from the law of Moses (which many were not living by properly anyway) to the law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was difficult for many church members (read also Mosiah 13:28-32).

In some aspects, this may be compared to the challenges some new converts face today upon joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Additionally, those who have been endowed in the temple have covenanted to live the law of consecration, and Church history has shown this to present challenges, as well.

  • Read Romans 7:4, 6. What does it mean to you to be “married” to Jesus Christ? Read also Nephi’s perspective in 2 Nephi 25:24-27.
  • We all struggle against the “natural man” (see Mosiah 3:19), including Paul. Read Romans 7:14-19, 23-25.
  • Read Romans 8:1-6, 10, 13; and consider the role of Jesus Christ in transforming our lives. Read also Jacob 4:4-6; Mosiah 3:13-15; 3 Nephi 15:2-5, 9-10.
  • What helps do you think the Roman saints may have found in Romans 8:14-18?
  • What additional helps did Paul preach, in verses 24-28? Read verse 28 again. Can you think of something in your life that you thought was a trial, but you can now see that its impact has become a blessing?
  • Next, Paul emphasizes that which is most important. Read and ponder verses 31-39. Choose one of these verses that seems to speak deeply to you, and write a few sentences, re-stating it in your own words.
  • Read Alma 34:13-15 and 3 Nephi 9:16-22.

Romans 9-11 What Matters Most?

Some Church members in Rome were Jews or descendants of other tribes of the House of Israel; while others did not have Israelite ancestry, thus being “gentiles.” Note the Lord’s promise to Abraham, grandfather of Jacob/Israel: “I will make of thee [Abraham] a great nation … and make thy name great among all nations … for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name” (Abraham 2:9-10). This gives us a greater view of the Lord’s plans and perspective regarding the House of Israel and the rest of mankind. Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ will eventually—in mortality or in the post-mortal world of spirits—offer the gospel to all the children of God, and those who accept it and live accordingly will be heirs of eternal glory.

During Christ’s mortal ministry, some wrongly claimed a status of righteousness and favor with God, based solely on their ancestry (see, for example, John 8:33, 37, 39). But what matters most? Read Romans 9:6, 24-26, 30-32; Romans 10:1-4, 10-13, 20-21; and Romans 11:17. Read also 2 Nephi 30:2. How might you apply these teachings to yourself today?

Note that some have attempted to use Romans 10:9 to teach that all we need to do to be saved is to “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.” Clearly, verse 10 (as well as hundreds of other Bible passages) teach that our belief and our righteousness must be from the heart—sincere and earnest. Our salvation comes through faith, works, and grace.

Interestingly, Paul’s teachings in Romans 11:17-23 closely match elements of the allegory of the wild and tame olive trees, in Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon. Perhaps Paul had access to the writings of Zenos, from which Jacob quoted.

Romans 12-13 To Live as Saints

Church members in Rome, to whom Paul was writing, surely lived in a godless society, devoid of the teachings and practices taught in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Read Romans 12:2-18; 13:8-13, and make a list of the various Christlike attributes that Paul is encouraging church members to develop and live by, despite the world in which they lived. Is there one or more of these attributes that you feel you should more fully develop? In what ways do people in your ward or branch demonstrate these attributes?
  • Read again Romans 12:18. Perhaps it is sometimes not possible to establish peace in certain relationships.
  • Romans 13:4, speaking of church leaders, begins: “For he is the minister of God to thee for good.” Think of a bishop or other Church leader who has fulfilled such a role in your life.

Romans 14-15 Fellowship One Another

In our day, we may be tempted to judge other Church members for what we consider to be their over-emphasis upon—or their lack of attention to—certain gospel principles or Church practices (such as the Word of Wisdom or Family History work):

  • What do you learn about judging others from Romans 14:1-3, 10-13?
  • Consider also how our own attitudes and behaviors may negatively affect others, as taught in verses 15-19.
  • What should our interactions be with our fellow Church members? Read Romans 15:1-7. Have you ever played a role in helping bring someone back into Church activity? If you were to lose your way spiritually, who would you want to come minister to you? Why?

Romans 15-16 Paul’s Farewell

As he ends his epistle to the Romans, Paul expresses personal feelings, along with requests of his readers:

  • Read Romans 15:13-16, 19-21, 30-33. Do these verses remind you of anything you have heard from our current or past presidents of the Church?
  • Read Paul’s greetings in Romans 16:1-16. How do these verses make you feel toward Paul?
  • What are Paul’s final items of counsel, in 16:17-20?
  • Note Paul’s praise of God, in verse 27.

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